It’s finally shoulder season, when summer begins to give way to fall. At the farmers markets there are the last tomatoes and the first apples, cool mornings turn into warm afternoons, and there’s a sort of anticipatory energy in the air. And, as always, there are things to bake and reasons to bake them, from a simple bread that will keep lunchboxes full to an apple pie-inspired babka that will sweeten up any weekend (or new year).

Slices of apple fritter cake on a sheet of parchment Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Liz Neily
A doughnut shop favorite, reimagined in cake form!

1) Apple Fritter Cake

In this recipe, the beloved apple fritter is reimagined as a sliceable, snackable bake. The moist, sturdy cake, made using the reverse creaming method, supports a huge heap of diced cinnamon-scented apples. The vanilla glaze on top gives this homemade cake doughnut shop appeal. 

Get the recipe: Apple Fritter Cake

Shop the recipe: Vietnamese Cinnamon and Pure Vanilla Extract

A pretzel focaccia cut into long strips on a cutting board next to an assortment of dipping sauces Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Just in time for Oktoberfest, pretzels in focaccia form.

2) Pretzel Focaccia

This pretzel-focaccia mashup gives you the malty flavor and mahogany crust without the rolling, twisting, and boiling. It's way easier to make, and a sprinkling of pretzel salt is the key finishing touch.  Bonus: It’s a great addition to a lunchbox.

Get the recipe: Pretzel Focaccia

Shop the recipe: Instant Yeast, Unbleached Bread Flour

Apple Pie Babka Photography by Kristin Teig; food styling by Liz Neily
Win weekend breakfast with this sweet apple pie babka.

3) Apple Pie Babka

When you’re craving apple pie, but also want a breakfast treat, what’s a baker to do? Make this babka, which is also a fitting bake if you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah. The enriched dough is twisted around a spiced filling of brown sugar, apples, and walnuts; boiled cider (in both the dough and the filling) gives the bread big apple fragrance and flavor.

Get the recipe: Apple Pie Babka

Shop the recipe: Apple Pie Spice, Boiled Cider, and SAF Gold Instant Yeast

Tahini Poppy Seed Pound Cake Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
There's nutty tahini in the batter, and seeds inside and out.

4) Tahini Poppy Seed Pound Cake

It’s nutty, it’s seedy, it’s an excellent candidate for all-day snacking: This pound cake, loaded with tahini, has it all. 

Get the recipe: Tahini Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Shop the recipe: Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and Pure Vanilla Extract

Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Send off summer right with this caramel peach upside-down cake.

5) Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake

Labor Day may be looming, but summer isn’t over yet — just ask the peaches. Before their season ends, make Fatima Khamise’s recipe for upside-down cake, which showcases the sliced fruit atop an angel food-like sponge cake. Eat a slice plain, or gild the lily with a big spoonful of whipped cream.

Get the recipe: Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake

Shop the recipe: Cake Pan and Offset Spatula

Taiwanese Breakfast Bao Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Start your morning right with tender, egg-filled steamed buns.

6) Taiwanese Breakfast Bao

We’re not suggesting that anyone hop out of bed on a weekday morning and make these steamed buns for breakfast. But we are suggesting that you make a batch, keep them in the freezer, and thaw them in the microwave for an extraordinary breakfast at a moment’s notice. Recipe developer Joy Huang fills her bao with scallion omelets, soy paste, and pork floss, but you could substitute scrambled eggs and bacon if you prefer.

Get the recipe: Taiwanese Breakfast Bao

Shop the recipe: Parchment Squares and Instant Yeast

Glazed Espresso Coffee Cake Photography by Danielle Sykes; food styling by Liz Neily
This zebra-striped cake will get you buzzing.

7) Glazed Espresso Coffee Cake

For a weekend pick-me-up, make this zebra-striped chocolate-and-vanilla coffee cake, the latest iteration of our Recipe of the Year. It features coffee in two forms (espresso powder and brewed), a generous layer of fudgy crumbs, and a robust coffee frosting.

Get the recipe: Glazed Espresso Coffee Cake

Shop the recipe: Espresso Powder and Black Cocoa

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Make lunch better with homemade oatmeal bread.

8) Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

If you’re back on the school lunch beat, you may want to commit this simple oatmeal pan bread recipe to memory. Sweetened with molasses and packed with rolled oats, it’s an easy loaf that makes excellent toast — and is perfect for a sandwich, too.

Get the recipe: Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

Shop the recipe: Baker’s Special Dry Milk and Whole Grain Bread Improver

Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Made with brown butter and toasted milk powder, these are the best Rice Krispies Treats you've ever tasted.

9) Ultimate Brown-Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Regular Rice Krispies treats are good. But this version, made with nutty browned butter and toasted milk powder, is truly ultimate. Soft yet chewy, a pan of these lasts less than a day in our house. Watch us make them on YouTube!

Get the recipe: Ultimate Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Shop the recipe: Milk Powder

Tomato Pie with Parmesan and Basil Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
This custardy, cheesy pie showcases the best summer tomatoes.

10) Tomato Pie with Parmesan and Basil

Before we bid summer adieu, make this stunning tomato pie. Featuring sliced tomatoes set in a cheesy, creamy custard and a flaky, buttery crust, it’s a showstopping way to say farewell to the season.

Get the recipe: Tomato Pie with Parmesan and Basil

Shop the recipe: Pie Pan

11) Classic Challah

If you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah, observing Shabbat, or simply want to make the best French Toast you’ve ever had, try your hand at challah. The golden bread is enriched with eggs, sweetened with honey, and easier to make than you might think. 

Get the recipe: Classic Challah

Shop the recipe: Dough Rising Bucket and Parchment Paper

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Kids can make these simple no-bake cookies themselves!

12) No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

If your kids come home from school hungry for a snack and looking for a project, set them up with this recipe for No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies. Sweetened with maple syrup, loaded with oats, nuts, and chocolate, and bound with almond butter, they’re quick and intensely satisfying.

Get the recipe: No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Shop the recipe: Double Dark Cocoa Blend and Semisweet Chocolate Chips

The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Packed with pumpkin (and chocolate chips) this loaf cake might become a year-round favorite.

13) The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Is it too early for pumpkin? Yes. Do we crave pumpkin bread all year round? Also yes! This tender loaf uses a full can of pumpkin purée, is spiced with cinnamon and ginger, and has an ample amount of chocolate chips throughout. Give it a try and add a review!

Get the recipe: The Most Pumpkin Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Shop the recipe: Vietnamese Cinnamon, Ginger, Semisweet Chocolate Chips, and Sparkling Sugar

Semolina Pasta Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
This fall, master homemade pasta.

14) Semolina Pasta

Making pasta from scratch is a satisfying weekend project. Bust out your pasta machine and prepare a batch of this dough, which uses both semolina and '00' pizza flour and is made in a food processor. Cut it into noodles, or use it to make cheese-filled ravioli.

Get the recipe: Semolina Pasta

Shop the recipe: Semolina Flour and ‘00’ Pizza Flour

Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza overhead in a cast iron pan Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
Make every night pizza night.

15) Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

Back-to-school time means the return of Friday night pizza nights! Celebrate the start of the weekend (and the start of the school year) with this beloved, crowd-pleasing recipe, which yields a plush pizza with delightfully crispy edges.

Get the recipe: Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza

Shop the recipe: Bowl Scraper and Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Cover photography (Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake) by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.

Additional contributions from Tatiana Bautista

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Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake
Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 Reviews
1 hr 35 mins
one 8" cake
Filed Under: Recipes
A headshot of Jessica Battilana
The Author

About Jessica Battilana

Jessica Battilana is the Staff Editor at King Arthur Baking Company and an award-winning writer, recipe developer, and ardent supporter of eating dessert every day. She is the author of Repertoire: All The Recipes You Need and coauthor of eight other cookbooks, including Tartine Book 3 with Chad Rob...
View all by Jessica Battilana